October 1, 2023
October 1, 2023

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Purchasing a Diamond? A Comparison of Natural, Lab-Grown and Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds

By Jordan Skydell

It’s summertime and love is in the air! You may be looking to get engaged to the love of your life, and surprise her with a new engagement ring, eternity band or tennis necklace. With the addition of lab-grown diamonds in the industry and their increase in popularity, knowing what to look for and how to get the most bang for your buck has become more confusing.

Let’s take a look at the fascinating world of diamonds as we compare three remarkable segments.

Most people already know the benefits of buying a natural diamond. This is essentially due to the fact that there is a limited number of natural diamonds on earth. Natural diamonds were brought to the surface 100 million years ago in molten magma by volcanic eruption. Natural diamonds are incredibly durable because they are the hardest naturally occurring material on earth, which means they are unlikely to get scratched or damaged by basically anything. That being said, natural diamonds are very costly when compared to clarity-enhanced or lab-grown diamonds: For example, the cost of a 1 CT natural VS1 G color stone (very high quality and color) is approximately $7,500. The same stone in clarity-enhanced costs approximately $3,800, and in lab-grown costs approximately $2,500.

Did you know that until 2016, only natural diamonds were broadly available? But in 2023, over half of the engagement rings sold in America are now clarity-enhanced or lab-grown diamonds. While both offer unique advantages and cater to different consumer preferences, each has distinctive features, empowering consumers to make informed choices in their fine jewelry purchases.

When deciding between clarity-enhanced diamonds and lab-grown diamonds, it is essential to consider various factors:

  1. Value and affordability: Clarity-enhanced diamonds utilize an advanced technological process that offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional diamonds. Through this process imperfections are minimized or eliminated, enhancing their brilliance and providing consumers with a visually stunning diamond that rivals its natural counterpart in quality, grade and color. This allows the consumer to maximize their budget by purchasing a 50% larger diamond or better-quality diamond at a more affordable price point. This market appeals to those seeking exceptional value without compromising on the quality or beauty of a natural diamond.

Alternatively, lab-grown diamonds, also known as synthetic or cultured diamonds, are created in a controlled laboratory environment using cutting-edge techniques. These diamonds possess identical chemical and physical properties to natural diamonds, offering a sustainable and eco-friendly choice that cannot be recognized even by a diamond tester. Lab-grown diamonds are priced even more competitively, making them an attractive option for those with a lower budget seeking accessible entry into the diamond market.

  1. Natural beauty and authenticity: Clarity-enhanced diamonds retain the natural beauty of diamonds, but with enhanced brilliance. These diamonds are genuine and come with industry-standard certifications, providing customers with the assurance of their authenticity. Lab-grown diamonds, although not formed naturally, possess the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds and are also accompanied by certifications, offering customers a choice based on their personal preferences.
  2. Ethical considerations: Clarity-enhanced diamonds contribute to ethical and sustainable practices by utilizing existing diamonds and reducing the need for additional mining. This reduces the environmental impact associated with diamond extraction. Lab-grown diamonds, created in a controlled laboratory environment, are considered a more ethical choice as they bypass the mining process altogether, minimizing the ecological footprint and avoiding any concerns related to labor practices.
  3. Availability and selection: Clarity-enhanced diamonds are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and settings, offering customers a diverse selection. Lab-grown diamonds also provide a variety of options, catering to different preferences in terms of carat size, color and cut.

Ultimately, the choice between clarity-enhanced diamonds and lab-grown diamonds depends on individual preferences and priorities. Both markets present compelling options for consumers seeking remarkable diamonds with distinct advantages. It is important for customers to consider their desired balance of value, authenticity and ethical considerations to make an informed decision that aligns with their needs and values.

To explore the world of natural, clarity-enhanced or lab-grown diamonds and discover the perfect diamond for you, visit Skydell Design LLC at www.skydelldesign.com. Skydell Design LLC is a family-owned, wholesale, B to C diamond company for over 40 years, providing each customer with an unforgettable personalized experience.

Jordan Skydell, of Skydell Design LLC, can be reached at 201-394-0848 and [email protected].

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